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Feb 15, 2008 06:24 AM

Post-Valentine's, Preferably French

I would like to take my partner out for a nice post-Valentine's day dinner--we tend to 'celebrate' it a few days later to avoid the crowds. We live in the Annex, and although we are not food buffs by any stretch, we used to enjoy the occasional dinner at Goldfish and Arlequin--both are gone now. The requirements: above decent food, cosy with acceptable privacy (hard to enjoy your duck confit while rubbing elbows with a stranger), good ambiance. I'd also very much prefer a place in or close to the neighbourhood.

I've been surfing this site and some others since yesterday, and do not seem to be able to find a place that fits the bill. Here's what I've found so far:

Batifole: seems nice, but way out at the east end; transportation would be a problem.

La Palette: close enough, but gets mixed reviews lately, and may we expect to be too squished?

Cantine: does not look like anything special, mixed menu, but close enough; a place to fall back on if nothing works out?

Jacques Bistro: could not find much on this; excellent location for us, though.

Le Paradis: I've been put off by remarks on service and ambiance.

Le Select, Le Saint Tropez etc.: they sound too touristy...worth my while and money?

By the way, I would really like to go to Gallery Grill at Hart House---if only they served dinner! Not cosy, but I was impressed with the overall environment, the service and the food in the couple of times I had lunch there...

So, what do you suggest? I am thinking perhaps an early Sunday night dinner, but can settle for a Monday arrangement if that could guarantee some privacy in a smallish place...

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Tati is a new bistro in your area (where Kensington Kitchen used to be). I haven't been, but reports seem to be good, including this recent review. There is mention of some close seating, but good timing may solve your problem.

    I do like Le Select.

    1. Jacques Bistro would be an excellent choice, the food is fantastic, but be warned, the tables are VERY close together. Have you considered L'Unita?

      1. I too live in the Annex....I really like Jacque's but have only gone for is a little crowded but to me it's a slice of 'Paris" in Toronto...I also like Cantine but it can be uneven foodwise...good to fall back on for sure. Avoid Le Paradis many, many CH's have posted...if you like 'attitude' with your dinner that's your place! Have heard only great things about the new place where Arlequin used to be (L'Unitas??) but understand it's very difficult to get in since it's become the 'toast'of the annex...

        1. Have you tried Bistro Tournesol. Its cozy and the food is always good and the price is reasonable.

          Bistro Tournesol
          406 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M5R1V9, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: acorn

            Bistro Tournesol is another good spot although again, it's a small room and the tables are very closely set. Cozy it is, but if the poster is set on having some privacy this would not be ideal.

          2. I would do Tati or Midi-both good and in the hood.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

              But in Tati you WILL be rubbing elbows it is very small and tables very close together...

              1. re: OnDaGo

                Yes, indeed. The problem is that people in Toronto really don't understand what a French Bistro is supposed to be.

                You don't see large spacious tables in French Bistrots in France. It's a BISTRO

                The only option then to qualify a more spacious setting would be Le Select which is not in the neighbourhood.